Triloka Maata Nannu

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SrinathK
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#1 Triloka Maata Nannu

Post by SrinathK » 21 Jul 2015, 13:54

I've heard two versions of Triloka Maata nannu - one by MDR in Mishra Chaapu and another (simpler) Adi Tala version. Now I have heard somewhere that a few of Shyama Sastri's krithis have got themselves simplified to Adi talam over time, nevertheless in this case I have a real problem.

The trouble is that MDR being MDR, his version is nearly impossible to follow on the talam, though I believe I've finally figured it out after slowing down the recording and physically counting how many notes each syllable stretches and seeing how that pattern would fit into the tala, but I still have doubts. And now I've heard another version with a totally different eduppu and splitting in the same Mishra Chaapu -- can anyone give me a video to clarify?
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bhakthim dehi
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#2 Re: Triloka Maata Nannu

Post by bhakthim dehi » 12 Aug 2015, 17:24

This kind of discrepancy in talam is also seen with Himachala tanaya, ananda bairavi. You can also do a research in this krithi.
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Rsachi
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#3 Re: Triloka Maata Nannu

Post by Rsachi » 12 Aug 2015, 18:48

Srinath
I was reading y'day that some MChapu compositions of Shyama Shastri employ 1234123 and not 1231234
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Rsachi
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#4 Re: Triloka Maata Nannu

Post by Rsachi » 12 Aug 2015, 19:35

Srinath,
i checked in the book of notations of Shyama Shastri kritis written by Prof Nagamani Srinath
She has notated using Viloma Chapu= 1234123
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SrinathK
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#5 Re: Triloka Maata Nannu

Post by SrinathK » 12 Aug 2015, 23:05

@Rsachi, thanks. This is almost equivalent to a Mishra Chaapu on a 3/7 eduppu (if the cycle is 7 beats) - so the pattern is -- t, t, t t , || This is what I have also concluded after listening to the syllable and melodic splitting. The difference is that in a Mishra Chaapu, regardless of eduppu, the tala and by extension the mridangist would end like t t , t, t, || (at the ||), but in a viloma chaapu it would end on t, t, t t , || (no wonder I never cracked that ending part) . Have I got it?

Now that you have told me of this, I need to go back and check how my viloma chaapu's I have accidentally labelled as Mishra chaapus in Shyama Shastris compositions in my list. And by extension I think all Shyama Shastri krithis are trickier with the tala (often what you think is a Roopakam turns out to be a Tisra Adi), so @bhaktimdehi it looks I've got to do more research. :roll:

Plus, it's a bit annoying isn't it when a tala for a composition is simply labelled "Chaapu" around the web when it could be any one of several chaapu talas? :geek:

Also I would like it very much if anyone could list out all the chaapu talas out for me.
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vasanthakokilam
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#6 Re: Triloka Maata Nannu

Post by vasanthakokilam » 15 Aug 2015, 01:07

Srinath, I will read through this more carefully in a few days but you are talking about issues that interest me very much.

In this context, I observed a while back that 'kripaya palaya chowrE' can be fit on to a couple of different starting points on top of MC. It will all feel natural. Our member Mohan from Australia who is a keyboard player and music teacher opined that that is the nature of Misra chapu itself and in that sense we have to give it separate considerations from the traditional saptha thalas. This is something we can pursue here.

Even within the saptha talas, while they are used to define cycle lengths, there is no consistency on the rules on how the internal laya of the song is overlaid on the tala. Because of that the same song can be overlaid on top of different talas of the same cycle count. To align the stress points one can always move the eduppu.
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keerthi
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#7 Re: Triloka Maata Nannu

Post by keerthi » 21 Aug 2015, 11:39

SrinathK,

0. Trilokamata nannu [Paras], HimAcala Tanaya brOcuTaku [as Bhaktim dehi pointed out], KaruNa jUDu [srIrAgam] and Ninnu vinAga mari [pUrvakalyANi] all have two prevalent versions of singing. There is another example, but it is so obscure that I will come to it in the end. All the songs in this above list have settings in Adi tAla samagraham, as well as a mishrA chApu/ viloma chApu setting [with different graham in each case]. You can find examples from the repertoires of artistes of the last three generations.

1. Subbarama DIkSitar whose honesty and integrity matched or even surpassed his erudition; gives the Pharas song as Caturashra Eka, and not Adi [as he was wont to do for Adi tAla songs, especially those with a vishama graha, like the deshAdi songs of tyAgarAja]. Similarly he gives the mAnji song 'brovavamma' as being in a 'Misra Laghuvu'. Please note, not triputa or Misra Ekam, but Misra Laghuvu.

2. This Misra Laghu(vu) is the term also used by the DhanammAL descendants to designate the tAla setting of many songs that they sang - including KaruNa jUDu [Sri], taruNamidamma [gauLipantu] and ninnu vinAga [PUrvakalyAni] . Other significant examples are their family heirloom prANasakhuDiTu, the janjUTi jAvaLi; which they sang] and nI mAtalEmAyenu rA- the pUrvakalyANi jAvaLi [both notated in Brindamma’s book JavaLigaL, published by Music Academy].

Most people have never heard of the Misra Laghuvu setting, and some of the few who have been exposed to it, don't understand how it is supposed to be. Palghat Mani Iyer and AriyakuDi were two people outside the Dhanam family who understood it perfectly. I have encountered several Kathakali singers, (including some of barely average quality) who have grasped this somewhat difficult idea.

3. The Mishra Laghuvu is a leisurely paced beat, which like Prof SRJ's Mishra Eka for many of dIksitar's 14 beat masterpieces, consists only of one ghAta [beat/ taTTU] follwed by noiseless finger counts of the remaining akSaras, followed by another beat to mark the next Avarta.

4. So much for the tAla structure. The superlative brilliance of the Mishra Laghuvu composition, is that like the interchangeable tautomeric forms seen in Organic chemistry, the krti will appear at the same time to be a song in Mishra NadaI and Adi tAlam or Cat. Eka tAlam; or Caturashra NaDai Mishra Ekam/ChApu.

Like the garbha-padya trick verses, wherein one verse in x metre is found embedded within another verse in another (bigger) metre Y; the Mishra Laghuvu songs will have sections that seem to be textbook aditAlam or 4-fold naDai, sections that are almost a stiff beat-to-beat archetype for Mishra nadai (or even Mishra chApu) and sections that fit equally well in both, with a delicious, tantalizing ambiguity.

While it is tempting to attribute this bit of laya brilliance to ShyAma shAstri, [seeing how he demonstrates this also in his Adi talam Tryashra NaDai songs that tautomerise with a Caturashra NaDai rUpaka chApu setting]; I feel it is older. Many of the daruvu-s from old yakSagAnams and Koravanjis, many padams, particularly those of sArangapAni; and many compositions of the haridAsas from KarnATaka demonstrate similar laya versatility in a most natural, un-laboured fashion.

This, is most likely a feature of laya in music of a different vintage, that we have mostly lost now. What we have got in stead is a crude parody of the most rudimentary in-your-face laya.

5. Many people end up singing the songs either in a vanilla flavour Adi talam or 7 beat chApu, thereby completely ignoring this somewhat complex aspect of the song’s internal rhythm. All the syncopated sections end up as landing on the beat in a predictable setting that is bland and insipid. For instance most people sing nI mATalemAyenu in Adi, while very few people (Like suguna Varadachari) sing it in M.chApu.


Last Point - DhanammAL's remarkable recording of nannu brOvu [lalita] which those razor sharp sphuritam immediately followed by mellow melting melodious meeTTu-less sancAras is the clinching evidence for the family's superior command over rhythm, keeping it as an undercurrent, and not as a coarse foreground that obscures the melodic structure of the song. This last point is ample illustrated in their handling of padams and even some other compositions in the chApu setting.
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keerthi
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#8 Re: Triloka Maata Nannu

Post by keerthi » 21 Aug 2015, 11:47

After that indigestible stuff, a couple of light weight asides.

VK -

It is kRpaya pAlaya shaurE!, wherein the last word is a name of kRSNa - shauri [since he was born in shUrasena's lineage]. 'chaure' will make it a supplication for protection from any of these options -

1. son/daughter-of-a-thief [somewhat similar to the telugu expletive donga- na-koD(u)kA!] if you take it as a Sanskrt word.

2. wig [in Tamil, kannaDa]

3. the furry white fans waved at the sides of deities [and kings], supposed made out of yaks' tails, if we are speaking in the Edwardian English favored by the Maharashran Indologists that have translated many Sanskrt Kavyas into (ahem)English.


Rsachi,

Prof Nagamani Srinath's Volume of Shyama Shastri compositions is very poorly put together, and is ridden with mistakes - both in the sAhitya and musical setting. I would encourage you to not refer to it.
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kvchellappa
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#9 Re: Triloka Maata Nannu

Post by kvchellappa » 21 Aug 2015, 12:38

Shakespeare used to introduce a light scene (humourous) before a graver one like the grave-diggers' scene in Hamlet. Here it comes after!
I read both with rapt attention, understanding somewhat the lighter one.
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bhakthim dehi
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#10 Re: Triloka Maata Nannu

Post by bhakthim dehi » 21 Aug 2015, 16:45

Can we take then that misra laghuvu and misra ekam are one and the same. If it is so, why did Sri Subbarama dikshithar used two different terms? If it is different, what is the difference. An additional piece of information: Even kamashi svarajathis in bhairavi and yadukula kambhodhi were notated in misra ekam by Subbarama dikshithar.
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harimau
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#11 Re: Triloka Maata Nannu

Post by harimau » 21 Aug 2015, 17:06

keerthi wrote:
This, is most likely a feature of laya in music of a different vintage, that we have mostly lost now. What we have got in stead is a crude parody of the most rudimentary in-your-face laya.

...............

Last Point - DhanammAL's remarkable recording of nannu brOvu [lalita] which those razor sharp sphuritam immediately followed by mellow melting melodious meeTTu-less sancAras is the clinching evidence for the family's superior command over rhythm, keeping it as an undercurrent, and not as a coarse foreground that obscures the melodic structure of the song. This last point is ample illustrated in their handling of padams and even some other compositions in the chApu setting.
I wish I could give you 20 thumbs-up votes for your post; unfortunately I am limited to 1.

The first of the two points I have quoted above should be kept in mind by listeners as they walk into an auditorium. What we have today is stridency in music which people perceive as energetic singing and applaud heartily.

The second point I have quoted shows this has been pretty much the case for several decades. Very few people liked the Dhanammal style of music as evidenced by the poor turn-out for her descendants' concerts.

Thanks. You have summed up brilliantly what ails our music today.
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Rsachi
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#12 Re: Triloka Maata Nannu

Post by Rsachi » 21 Aug 2015, 21:13

Can I please get a link to Nannu brovu lalitha by Dhanammal?
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vasanthakokilam
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#13 Re: Triloka Maata Nannu

Post by vasanthakokilam » 21 Aug 2015, 23:32

keerthi, thanks for the gyan on 'shaurE' vs 'chaure'. Did not really know and that too where 'shaurE' came from. Of course, I wrote it as 'Chaure' because that is how it sounded to me when people sing it. Gotten curious, I just went to youtube and sampled a few renditions. You have a lot of work cut out for you ;) I hear most of them singing it with more of the 'cau' sound rather than 'shau' sound.
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vasanthakokilam
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#14 Re: Triloka Maata Nannu

Post by vasanthakokilam » 21 Aug 2015, 23:34

Keerthi: On the laya part, awesome stuff. Let me digest that some more and reflect on it. I do relate to the basic concept that having that 'undistinguished' 7 beats give the right playground for singing padams and javalis that enable the composer to have a lot of freedom in structuring the internal laya to suit the mood of the song rather than artificially taking a tala with an internal anga structure and feel weird about violating them or feel constrained by them.

What pleased me is what you pointed out about SD marking Desadi tala songs as Chathusra Eka. That makes a lot of sense for a whole variety of such desadi tala songs. If I just listen to those songs without thinking about any CM conditioning, that is how the laya comes across to me. ( thought not all, I will make exceptions for songs like mA jAnaki). The laya is symmetrical between the pUrvAngA and uttarAngA which itself gives rise to the notion it is really a 4 beat structure. In addition the internal laya for most of such songs can be reasonably approximated without loss of too much data to an alternating heavy and light beat ( down and up beat, if I may, which is the most universal of beat structures ).
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SrinathK
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#15 Re: Triloka Maata Nannu

Post by SrinathK » 22 Aug 2015, 10:58

Here it is : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TADuRovnmZg

Use Easy Youtube downloader addon in Firefox and get videos in HD with 192 kbps mp4.
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SrinathK
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#16 Re: Triloka Maata Nannu

Post by SrinathK » 22 Aug 2015, 11:36

@keerthi, Wow, that's fascinating. I have never heard of this concept before. I need a demonstration of this Mishra Laghuvu -- to me it sounds like a Mishra Ekam with a Mishra Nadai subbeat running inside of it. A similar idea I had in mind was that many M.Chaapu and Khanda Chaapu pieces in Chatushra nadai may be considered as Mishra Nadai or Khanda Nadai Eka Tala compositions in a 2 kalai - if you count the number of avartanams each line runs for.

Indeed we have superimposed the chaapu talas on to the main beats as a solution to "simplify" more complex nadais like tisra (1+2), khanda (2+1+2), divya sankeerna (2+4), mishra (1+2+2+2), sankeerna (1+2+2+2+2), etc. into a "pseudo" chatushra nadai.

The Dhannamal school as far as I have heard them has a speciality in the matter of the rubato - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempo_rubato
Only their variation is something like a "rubber band time" -- instead of every syllable exactly on the beat, they would at certain points pause for a breath and then sing the next syllable slightly off the beat -- causing the passage before the syllable to stretch and the passage after it to compress -- it will still be in sync with the tala. Even if you do listen to the Dhannamal recording above you might find the opposite effect in the very first line, sing a syllable short to compress the prior phrase and stretch the following one.

The same thing happens even in gamakas, one swara is stretched a little in the kampitas while the next anuswara is glanced at and compressed. It gives an impression of "dragging the music" but in reality the mind is much better at noticing what happens in the 1st half of the variation and doesn't immediately grasp how the following phrase is adjusting to keep things in line with the tala -- the stretch of the band is more noticeable than the "snap" that follows -- interestingly one of the very few people who could do this to create unique aesthetic effects even at faster tempos was Palghat Mani Iyer. Among modern singers, TMK (my request not to get worked up :lol: ) is one example who still does this.

These sort of rhythmic subtleties were probably made possible by the lack of playing around with "metronome" percussion accompaniments (though it does make it hard to put the tala for us who're used to hearing evenly spaced notes everywhere). Chowka kala music and the wide spacing between the syllables in varnams and padams made those subtleties with the gamakas and syllables possible. The rise of Madhayama Kala music has made it pretty much impossible to do this today.
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varsha
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#17 Re: Triloka Maata Nannu

Post by varsha » 23 Aug 2015, 09:52

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SrinathK
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#18 Re: Triloka Maata Nannu

Post by SrinathK » 23 Aug 2015, 12:53

Whoa! That I believe is T Vishwanathan, correct? Now I can see a little bit of how it goes, unlike most Mishra Chaapu krithis where the words fall on the downbeats and the pattern is so obvious, this one looks like it better fits a Mishra Ekam rendered at 1/2 kalai, though just a little adjustment of the syllable placements at some points and suddenly it sounds like you are listening to M. Chaapu again -- as @keerthi put it, deliciously ambigious.

But I want to see how this Mishra Laghuvu is really rendered. I consider this to actually be a Mishra Ekam in 1/2 kalai, instead of playing the M.Chapu pattern of tt,t,t, -- you are in fact counting all the 7 beats. Is that why it's called a Laghuvu? If I am off the mark, please do show me a demonstration.

Reminds me of Oothukadu Venkata Kavi's "Aadum Varai" in Huseni which as far as I have heard it can fit pefectly onto both a Roopakam in Chatushra nadai and an Adi in Tishra Nadai.

Ah, the tragedies of the past where we have lost most of the Dikshitar school's handling of their ragas, some of the laya genius of Shyama Sastri, many vivadi krithis of Thyagaraja (and one Pancharatnam's original form) ... that is one place where innovation and superstition was truly the enemy of tradition.
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varsha
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#19 Re: Triloka Maata Nannu

Post by varsha » 23 Aug 2015, 17:02

Whoa! That I believe is T Vishwanathan, correct?
Let there be no doubt !!! :lol:
Spent the better part of an afternoon to get this gem ready
http://www.mediafire.com/watch/1zr418bd ... _vsiva.mp4
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keerthi
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#20 Re: Triloka Maata Nannu

Post by keerthi » 24 Aug 2015, 10:39

Bhaktim dehi : Can we take then that misra laghuvu and misra ekam are one and the same. If it is so, why did Sri Subbarama dikshithar used two different terms? If it is different, what is the difference
.

All good questions. I don’t have any substantial answers as of yet. You could maybe recommend it to some of those talented music graduate students who waste their time, energy and paper writing analytically bankrupt MA , M.Phil and Ph.D dissertations on ‘The esoteric, exoteric and psalteric content of the kamalAmbA navAvaranams’, or ‘A textual and melodic analysis of post-taniavartanam pieces in the 20th century’ and other such profound gibberish.
I’m sure, given such useful topics [like the Misra Laghuvu and Mishra Eka one] most of those students are clever, competent and motivated enough to accomplish such small projects, and probably just suffer from a lack of ideas.


Varsha, thanks for the precious upload. Didn't know it existed. Will listen and get back. Not having heard it yet, I suspect Viswa may have learnt this from Sri TiruppAmburam Swaminatha Pillai, and not Dhanam.


Harimau, I am glad you appreciate and agree with those things I said.

SrinathK,

Firstly, Thanks for introducing the concept of Rubato. Yes, it is a paradigmatic feature of the music of this family, [and of many other talented past masters]. You are right in pointing out that TMK is one of few who do it. Another dark horse in this category is Prof T.R.Subrahmanyam, who used it both in krti sangatis and in neraval to good effect.

Unfortunately most modern artistes who interpret the compositions of Diksitar do not consider this possibility, and if we listen to their versions of Diksitar’s compositions; there is a very rudimentary geetam style of singing, where every sAhityakSara lands on a beat. However, the Dhanammal family’s repertoire of Diksitar krti-s all have the same boneless grace that their padam interpretations did. And in the case of dikSitar’s songs, almost all of it came from Pancanada Iyer, through Dhanammal, and her hand in preserving/lending this fine polish and elegance is evident.

Most of this has little to do with your original discussion. Nonetheless it is of some general value.

These sort of rhythmic subtleties were probably made possible by the lack of playing around with "metronome" percussion accompaniments (though it does make it hard to put the tala for us who're used to hearing evenly spaced notes everywhere). Chowka kala music and the wide spacing between the syllables in varnams and padams made those subtleties with the gamakas and syllables possible.

- I think it is a wrong belief that training in metronome-level tAla makes it difficult to learn the syncopated and irregularly spaced versions. It is only when our understanding of laya and tAla stagnates at the learners level.

- We learn the varase-s but do not (hopefully) sing svara-kalpana that sounds like the varase exercises. Similarly we learn the metronome type tAla in the varasai-alankAra gItam stage; and unfortunately our conception of laya doesn’t progress beyond this level. Like I pointed out, Kathakali singers are able to grasp this effortlessly since it is a prominent aspect of the kathakaLi padam singing style. I have felt the same about the 'SopAnam' style recitation of songs from the gIta-gOvinda.

- Cauka kAla – Yes. Learning the concept and developing a ruci for it while practising in Cauka kAla; will ensure that one is also able to pull it off in the madhyama and druta tempi.
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varsha
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#21 Re: Triloka Maata Nannu

Post by varsha » 24 Aug 2015, 13:23

Didn't know it existed
sent you a mail on this .
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SrinathK
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#22 Re: Triloka Maata Nannu

Post by SrinathK » 25 Aug 2015, 08:47

@varsha, Thanks a lot for taking the time to share these all with us. In the video, he renders it in a Mishra Chaapu only.

As for the video of Dhannamal (and the collections of Brinda and Mukta I have), what is most astonishing is that the family played their repertoire with such intricate gamakas and fine polishing back then in an era when others (especially male singers) were singing with a rawness seen in today's kids just out of geetham level and newly exposed to gamakas (if those gramaphone records are to be believed).
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#23 Re: Triloka Maata Nannu

Post by uday_shankar » 26 Aug 2015, 23:03

An absolutely delightful discussion.
keerthi wrote:Unfortunately most modern artistes who interpret the compositions of Diksitar do not consider this possibility, and if we listen to their versions of Diksitar’s compositions; there is a very rudimentary geetam style of singing
Perhaps the problem is that neither the oral tradition nor written works (say SSP) give any line by line indication of tempo. In western classical compositions, especially late romatic to modern era, the score contains many tempo cues on the bars as needed. In CM it is left to the discretion of the individual interpreter and in the absence of any cues from the original composer the less inspired performers stick to metronomic rhythm. Conscious rubato which adds character, depth and flavor to the music is desirable but unconscious "ottal" perhaps not.

In WCM conducting, there are conductors who stick to tempo like a metronome (say the late Georg Solti) and there are conductors who stretch and compress effortlessly and build a soundscape that is magnificent (such as the late Herbert von Karajan). In general I've preferred listening to the non-metronomic conductors but I am sure the orchestra hated them. Imagine an ensemble trying to read, play and at the same time follow the vague movements of a baton swinging to stretchable rhythm.
SrinathK wrote:played their repertoire with such intricate gamakas and fine polishing back then in an era when others (especially male singers) were singing with a rawness seen in today's kids just out of geetham level and newly exposed to gamakas (if those gramaphone records are to be believed).
The reason is that those old male singers were singing to outdoor audiences under a pandal and only simple shouting carried. The nagasvaram alone was able to propagate some gamakams in the outdoors. The Dhanammal family were chamber musicians. However, this does not explain a similar "rawness" in those early vina players, given that they too were chamber musicians. In general I believe gamakas have increased greatly in the post-amplification era including the Dhanammal family. Vina Dhanammal herself was far less gamakamfied than Brindamma.
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#24 Re: Triloka Maata Nannu

Post by mahavishnu » 30 Aug 2015, 09:47

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SrinathK
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#25 Re: Triloka Maata Nannu

Post by SrinathK » 30 Aug 2015, 13:16

Here's the video of the MDR recording. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sihdy0EgHGc

-5 stars for the wretched camera work -- that cameraman must have been the musical ignoramus of the century. I am not sure how MDR renders the talam in the few seconds where the camera remembers to focus on him...it's almost like an abhinayam at times. I would not be surprised at all if MDR stopped in the middle to give a lec dem explaining the song and resuming singing (which I have read he did, the meandering Ganga he was). Can anyone help?

There's an audio recording on Sangeethapriya's Shyama Sastri tribute page.
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